Lee Co. 911 center gets improvements
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Lee County 911 center is updating its call center to make sure they’re able to respond to all emergencies. Recently they got $66,000 from Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (SPLOST) funding to help.
The Lee County 911 center typically takes around 70,000 calls in just one year. For dispatchers to do their work it’s important their equipment is in its best shape.
Nikkie Cilinski, the Director at the 911 Center in Lee County, said dispatchers typically work 12-hour shifts and a large portion of the funds went to updating their desk space.
That included making their desk adjustable, updating monitors and creating better ventilation for their computer systems.
“It keeps them from overheating and keeps the life span of our systems a lot longer,” Cilinksi said.
Day to day they take calls responding to suicides, children in distress, missing persons, car accidents and many other emergencies.
“Our lives are a constant emergency situation, so we have to be highly trained, highly empathetic (and) ready to go,” Cilinski said.
Working in the industry for a little more than a decade, Cilinski said it’s a difficult but rewarding job.
″It’s more than answering a phone. It’s answering the phone to save a life, to render aid once you get into it. It’s a really hard job to step away from because It’s such an important job,” Cilinski said.
Amber white, a communications officer, said helping first responders and the person on the other line has been the most rewarding part for her.
″For them it’s the worst day of their life, and to be able to help them get the help they need to get everything handled, I think it’s probably my favorite part,” White said.
She also reflected on one of the hardest calls she’s taken.
“Unfortunately, I got to listen to the lady take the last breath on the phone that was pretty hard,” White said.
Being the first, first responders, they do as much prevention as possible, such as asking questions to give to police or firemen, but also walking someone through a crisis before EMS arrives.
“We can do anything from back pain to bleeding wounds to breathing problems. We can even walk somebody through childbirth,” Cilinski said.
They’ve also introduced Texty, a program where a person can text 911 instead of calling.
“It rings just like a regular 911 call. You don’t want to draw attention to yourself by speaking, so you can always turn your phone on silent and start texting,” Cilinski said.
Through the app, the call center would get a person’s general location and start asking other questions about the situation while help is on the way.
So far, they’ve answered a little more than 30,000 calls. Cilinski said the busiest time will be at the end of the year near the holidays.
Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.